- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani testified for hours in Atlanta Wednesday before a special grand jury investigating post-election actions by former President Donald Trump and his allies.

State prosecutors recently informed Mr. Giuliani, who served as Mr. Trump’s lawyer at the time, that he is a target of the investigation.

Mr. Giuliani left the courthouse about six hours after his arrival and his attorney, Bill Thomas, declined to comment on what was said behind closed doors.

“We showed up, we did what we had to do. The grand jury process is a secret process and we’re going to respect that,” he told a reporter from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution who was on-site.

Mr. Giuliani was not expected to divulge much because he could claim his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, given he might be indicted, or cite attorney-client privilege regarding Mr. Trump.

“I was his lawyer of record in that case,” Mr. Giuliani told the conservative Newsmax channel Monday. “The statements that I made are either attorney-client privileged because they were between me and him, or they were being made on his behalf in order to defend him.”

Media swarmed Mr. Giuliani as his black SUV pulled up in front of the Lewis R. Slaton Courthouse.

“We will not talk about this until it’s over. It’s a grand jury, and grand juries as I recall are secret,” Mr. Giuliani told a CNN reporter as he entered.

He declined to comment on whether he thinks Mr. Trump is the ultimate target of the probe.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis’ probe of post-election actions is fueled in large part by the January 2021 phone call between Mr. Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which the departing president urged the secretary to investigate potential fraud and find 11,780 votes,” or enough for him to overturn his loss to President Biden.

Mr. Giuliani is appearing before the Fulton County panel nearly two years after he visited in December 2020 to meet with state lawmakers and make unproven claims about voter fraud in Georgia.

Wednesday’s stop in Atlanta was part of a post-election tour of sorts by Mr. Giuliani, who claimed suspicious suitcases of ballots and voting-machine issues cost Mr. Trump the election.

Mr. Giuliani’s attorneys tried to set up a videoconference with the grand jury because he recently had cardiac procedures and couldn’t fly.

Superior Court Judge Robert C.I. McBurney last week said Mr. Giuliani could travel “on a train, on a bus or Uber.”

Ms. Willis is also pushing Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, to testify before the panel about conversations he had with Georgia officials following the 2020 election.

A federal judge on Monday ordered Mr. Graham to appear, but the senator says his actions at the time were protected by the speech and debate clause of the Constitution. He is appealing the order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

A judge in Colorado on Tuesday ordered Mr. Trump’s legal adviser, Jenna Ellis, to travel to Georgia to appear before the special grand jury.

In a petition to the court, Ms. Willis described Ms. Ellis as “an attorney for the Trump Campaign’s legal efforts seeking to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.”

Meanwhile, 11 persons accused of serving as “fake electors” in a bid to overturn the 2020 Georgia results have asked a judge to disqualify Ms. Willis from the investigation.

In court papers, they say they are “inextricably intertwined” with state Sen. Burt Jones, a Republican who cannot be investigated by Ms. Willis because she hosted a fundraiser for Mr. Jones’ Democratic opponent for lieutenant governor.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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